Artist Statement

Within a culture that likes things to be simple and pigeonholed, my artwork engages in a complex conversation about the structure and meaning of (subjective/intimate) emotional truth while making sure to keep a firm eye on the very thin line that divides sincerity of expression from sheer banality. To this effect the full body of work comprised of abstract art mixed media canvases, multi-layered figurative collages, conceptual photography, art for children collages and biomorphic digital compositions is meant to provoke a desire, in my audience, to impose a story upon the image in order to answer the question of how to be at once earnest& ironical, sensitive& cerebral.

Of course, by choosing the “novelistic practice” over the aridity of contemporary art conceptual stances, I run the risk of suffocating my work in grand narratives, but I insist on preserving the concept of narration as an effective way of allowing the imaginary to continue to be a source of new ideas in exploring the intimacy of emotions. Be aware, when I speak of the emotional core of lived reality it is not to be confused with a simplified romantic notion of emotive feelings whose superiority goes unchecked. On the contrary, my work does not avoid registering all the pressures of the world around us, albeit sometimes by simply setting them aside. In my brand of art, the concept drives the work but not at the expense of beauty and materially which are integral to the artisanal nature of my painting and photographic collage. I am in awe of the beauty of textured surfaces and tactile experiences but I am likewise, in awe with the irony of self-referential beauty. My artworks may exhibit a a strong “aesthetic quality”, in other words, they may be a bit too beautiful to be appreciated as critical or socially engaged (although, in their own way, they are both) but at least they steer clear of pretense at social redemption as a way of avoiding criticism on artistic grounds. In this sense, my work is (theoretically) supported by Michael Fried, one of the most established art critics alive today, who is wary of categorizing art as an event. When this happened, he thought, viewers don't appreciate the artwork itself, rather its broader cultural context. If art becomes nothing more than a cultural event, then it adversely compromises the way in which art can be appreciated; reactions will be conditioned by surrounding socio-historic circumstance, which will avoid consideration of the artwork as an independent entity.

While I have a particularly strong appreciation of many contemporary artists such as Julie Mehretu, Sheila Hicks, William Kentridge, Gunther Forg, Albert Oehlen, Cecily Brown and Adrian Ghenie, in my own art journey I am often looking for something different from them. I am referring to my understanding of the importance of balancing nuanced coloring (Henry Matisse) and strong materiality (Jay DeFeo). I am also referring to the fact that the majority of my images operate within a closed system referring to a “world of infinite durability” much to the tune of Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin and become a venue for the outer world to meet the inner world (Edward Hopper) in order to get to a place where all parts are equally artificial and thus equally open to the slightest breath of poetic association (Joseph Cornell). In other words, if my task as an artist is not to capture emotional truth and create beauty, what is the point of being an artist?

In Ragnar Kjartasson's words "....the artwork becomes the stage upon which the ancient instinct of the hunter-gatherer takes over..." and colors, textures, surfaces, and memories grab your brain, your heart, your all in such a way that deep thinking and reflection on cultural concerns are dealt with through images that offer a genuine aesthetic experience.

The rest is politics and theater.

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